I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m often drawn to imperfection, rusty spoons, tired looking flowers, chipped old plates, roses with damaged petals, out of date fruit. There’s a certain sort of beauty that’s hard to explain in these things that are no longer perfect.
My love of imperfection also extends to the weather, or at least for photographic purposes it does. Much as I love to open the curtains on a beautiful sunny morning my first thought isn’t likely to be of getting out with the camera. Open the curtains to fog though and I’m dying to get out and shoot, sadly it often lifts too quickly.
Last week I was pleased to see a little mist first thing, and as it started to thicken I knew I had to head out so I was off to a local reservoir to walk and take some photographs. The water had really pulled the fog in and it was much denser than I’d expected!
As I set off I passed an elderly gentlemen who looked at my camera and laughed. “You’ll not see anything with that” he said.
I could see so much and I had hardly set off. I could see footpaths that disappeared into nothing, tiny figures that looked like they were about to step off the edge of the world, geese that seemed suspended in nothingness, reflections that confused the mind.
But I realised he wouldn’t understand so I just smiled and agreed and set off to see nothing.
And as I walked from time to time the fog lifted just a little and a hint of the sun found its way through and everything changed, there were slight ripples on the water that had been like a mirror and the silence lifted a little and then it would all change again and the stillness and silence would return.
Now if you are a photographic perfectionist I’ve no doubt you’ll look at these and think that the shadows are too dark, the highlights are blown, there’s no detail where there should be detail. And you would be right.
But you know what? I’m happy with that.
I wasn’t looking to photograph the details, as the lovely old man pointed out, they couldn’t be seen.
I wanted to photograph the feelings.